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The North Wing at Combermere Abbey, Nantwich, Cheshire
Originally founded as a Cistercian monastery in 1133, Combermere Abbey has been through many changes over the years. In 2014, following a massive renovation project, the owners opened up the charming North Wing to overnight guests, giving those of us without landed gentry backgrounds the chance to enjoy an aristocratic lifestyle, temporarily at least. Park up by the shores of the lake, stroll through the knot garden and enter your temporary home from home. You'll be greeted by luxurious rooms, the services of a house manager to provide advice (and dish up breakfast), and gorgeous views through arched windows, to the beautiful surroundings.
There are easy woodland trails to follow and seats beside the mere where you can listen to the birdsong and simply bask in the tranquillity.
The hotel is set in beautiful countryside between Nantwich and Whitchurch, about a mile off the A525.
By car: around 4 hours' drive from London or 90 minutes from Manchester. Free parking is available on-site.
By train: Nantwich is the closest station and has direct links to Manchester. Crewe Station is a 30-minute taxi ride away, with direct links to London. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel is popular for weddings but also ideal for garden-lovers, bird-watchers and anyone who just wants a totally relaxing rural break. A photo-filled book in the lounge provides a fascinating insight into all the work that went into renovating the rooms.
Service & Facilities
A small honesty shop in the old stables has a few food and drink items for sale plus games, toys and barbecues to borrow.
- Personal butler service
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free bike hire
- Adults only
With extra space, more light, a bigger bathroom and views on two sides, Salamanca definitely wins best room. In its large bathroom you can lie back in the freestanding bath and watch the resident swans gliding across the lake.
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, bathrobes and slippers, toiletries, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The delicious homemade preserves and fresh apple juice at breakfast are all made from fruits grown in the estate gardens. Less than two miles away is the Combermere Arms, an attractive country pub serving cut-above food and thirst-quenching local cask ales.
The dining room: a range of breakfast options are available, from continental to full English. Included in room rate.